Selecting a maid is as important as selecting a maid agency. After all, maid will be the person that you are going to interact everyday if you do not change her. In this article, we hope to give you some suggestions on how to select a maid that can better meet your expectation. We also provide some questions that you can use during interview with the maid.
Select a Maid - What is your expectation?
A maid that matches your expectation is the best maid. Before you go to the employment agency or maid agency, you should ask yourself why you need the maid and list down your expectation of maid. Here is some questions to ask yourself?
1. How much can I afford? Filipino and Experienced Maid usually cost higher per month.
2. Do you need the maid to take care of your baby, your child or your parents?
If you need the maid to take care of baby, you may need a maid that has the experience of taking care of baby or a maid that is willing to learn to take good care of baby.
If your child is very active, then you should avoid employing those maids that may not be energetic enough to handle him or her. You know that, taking care of an active child is very tiring and your maid needs to be energetic enough to do the job.
If you need the maid to take care of baby, you also need the maid to have the necessary skills to handle your baby in case of emergency. So you should prepare to give a maid a few emergency scenarios to respond to you during the interview.
3. Do you have the patience to teach maid to do household chore? If not, you may need to employ an experienced maid that has settled in Singapore for some times.
4. Do you need the maid to be fluent in English? If yes, do watch out how maid communicate with you during the interview.
5. What are the house rules that you like your maid to follow? For example, you may think write down how you like your maid to use your home fixed phone line and maid's personal hand phone. Do think carefully what is acceptable to you and what is unacceptable to you and raise the question during interview.
Select a Maid - Nationality and Language
Some people I know prefer maids from Philippine out of the belief that Filipino maid speak better English. It may be true the Filipino maid in general speak better English, but Indonesian maids or maids from other countries can also speak good English. What is important for you is to prepare sufficient questions to ask her during interview and watch out how she reply you during the interview. Based on this, you can then really tell whether the maid can communicate well enough with you.
Select a Maid - Interview
Interview is very important, not only you can find out how well the maid can speak English, you can also find out how committed the maid is in the job as well as other matters that may be important to you. You can refer here for a full list of sample questions for maid interview.
Here are some sample questions you can ask your maid during interview?
Can you describe your daily work activity like what time you wake up and what you do?
What do you think a good domestic helper should possess?
What is your strength as a good domestic helper?
For transfer maid, you may ask why she leaves her current employer?
Why do you want to work in Singapore?
Do you need to support your family financially?
Do you need to send back money monthly?
Usually, if the maids need the money, she may be more motivated than those whose family is relative rich.
Skill related questions
Do you have kids at home?
Do you like children?
How do you handle a crying baby?
If my baby fell down and hurt herself badly under your care. What could you do?
What could you do if you think my child need to be scolded and punished?
What dish can you cook?
Employer and Employee Relationship
What would you do if you are not happy with us?
What would you do if you think you have too many things to handle?
What is your definition of a good employer?
Will you share with us any unhappiness or difficulty that you face?
Other concerns you may have
1. The maid may need to go back within 2 year before contract expire.
Do you have boy friend, when do you plan to get married? (if within 2 years, then the maid may need to go back for marriage)
Do you have sibling at home? (if not, she may need to go back when her parents is sick)
2. Use of Hand phone (This create many conflicts in many maid-employer relationship and you better have an agreement with the maid on this before signing the deal)
We understand you need to use the hand phone to communicate with family members, friends or others. When do you think is an appropriate time for you to use it? When do you think it is inappropriate for you to use?
Select a Maid - New or Experienced
Hiring an experienced maid may be a good choice as experienced maid have overcome home sickness and get used to life in Singapore. But of course, it is more costly to hire an experienced maid.
Some employers also report that the experienced maid are "smarter" and may be hard to manage as they know how to handle the boss.
New maid is usually cheaper, but you may need more time to train her to the job and she may need time to adapt to the life in Singapore.
Select a Maid - Employment History
If the maid has worked in Singapore before or is currently in Singapore, you can check her employment history through MOM website http://www.mom.gov.sg/services-forms/Pages/wp-online-fdw.aspx
To check the maid's employment history, you need to login to the system using your SINGPASS.
To check maid's employment history, you still need to have maid's Work permit number, or worker's foreign identification number or using maid's personal particular such as name, gender, date of birth, nationality.
Most of the maid agency will be able to show you the maid's employment history if you request for it.
What to check for employment history
1. Number of employer(s) that the maid has worked for and length of employment period with each employer?
If any of her employment periods can last more than 1 year, you may consider giving her an interview.
If all her employment period is short, then you may want to ask the maid personally or the maid agency why the employment is short and made sure the reason is able to convince you.
While employment history can give a rough idea of how good the maid is, we also need to bear in mind that the length of employment period is also affected by the maid's previous employers.
There are employers who are really abusive and do not treat maid like a human being. If you read the newspaper every day, you know this is not rare.
I also come across with a few employers who just need the maid for a few month as their parents or family member was sick. When their family members recover and are able to manage day to day activity, they then return the maid to agency.
Hope the above information can help you to find a good maid.